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Graphics artist needed

An exciting "new" option in FlightGear, that includes reflections, lightmaps, the particle system etc.. A lot is yet to be discovered/implemented!

Graphics artist needed

Postby Thorsten » Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:04 pm

I've pushed today some feature which I originally developed for the nextgen terrain shader - the idea is to treat urban textures as an overlay to the normal scenery - some simple example here:

Image

(you can see the original landclass showing between the houses and roads).

We can now do the same thing for the current scenery - so ideally cities no longer look like they replace the landclass, they look like they're built on top of the surrounding landclass (the currently best working example is Cape Town (FACT for the closest airport).

So what I would need is someone who can do a better job with city and town textures, cutting suitable holes into them. Basically we want to retain roads and houses (and some gardens) and otherwise open up such that we see the terrain underneath shining through. This requires some experimenting and tweaking to get right - for instance for parks etc. it may be best to just use 50% transparency such that they just acquire the right hue.

Anyway, the quality my graphics software skills can reach with this is limited, so to get better I need someone who is actually good at this.
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Re: Graphics artist needed

Postby wlbragg » Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:48 pm

Just a quick observation. Moving forward with this method, I think we need both this type of effect and also cityscapes that completely hide the underlying land class. Many typical city tracks have no resemblance to the surrounding countryside land cover and they have hard edges. I think that is where a robust land class classification is helpful to have.
With that said this is really nice where applicable.
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Re: Graphics artist needed

Postby psadro_gm » Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:10 pm

That's probably solvable with the right encoding in the lookup texture. It's going to be fun coming up with a rasterization scheme for the landclass texture. I hope to keep the shipping data in vector (shapefile) format - and generate the raster on the fly. This way, artists should be able to blur or harden a particular region just by changing the associated landclass polygon attributes in qgis. It will also keep the datasize for the world down.
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Re: Graphics artist needed

Postby Thorsten » Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:13 pm

Moving forward with this method, I think we need both this type of effect and also cityscapes that completely hide the underlying land class.


You have to explicitly switch it on in the current scheme. In nextgen, provide a texture without alpha and it will cover everything.
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Re: Graphics artist needed

Postby CaptB » Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:16 pm

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Re: Graphics artist needed

Postby Thorsten » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:03 am

That's the general idea, yes - except that's the quality I get by doing color to alpha and it has all sorts of pixelized noise over the place - which doesn't look overly compelling in-sim.
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Re: Graphics artist needed

Postby erik » Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:15 am

Is this one better?
http://adalin.com/ehtw.info/town-europe-south.png

If so, here's what I did using Gimp:

* use the Select By Color tool
- select anti aliasing
- set feather edges radius to 10
- set threshold to 15

* Select colors, cut and past in a new layer
* Adjust the transparency of the new layer to 50%
* Combine all layers.
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Re: Graphics artist needed

Postby CaptB » Sat Aug 06, 2016 3:50 pm

I don't think it's possible to easily make a clean, non pixelated image without a lot of manual work, especially with the ones that have very similar colors predominant ( where there's little difference between the areas to remove and those that must stay )

Maybe it's better to ditch the aerial town images and instead use a rendered image instead that is similar, this way you gain a lot of flexibility and you could for instance remove the ground in the scene if that is what is needed.
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Re: Graphics artist needed

Postby Hooray » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:05 pm

There's the instant city project which procedurally creates entire 3D cities on demand, so procedurally creating just aerial textures for different urban areas may not be such a far-fetched idea.

Please don't send support requests by PM, instead post your questions on the forum so that all users can contribute and benefit
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Re: Graphics artist needed

Postby Thorsten » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:26 pm

I don't think it's possible to easily make a clean, non pixelated image without a lot of manual work


Yes, I quite agree - if it were easy, I'd not be asking for help. It's the sort of task that seems much easier if you have the graphic equipment (like those sketchpads where you can directly erase with a pen rather than goofing around with the mouse) and an idea how to attack this.

Maybe it's better to ditch the aerial town images and instead use a rendered image instead that is similar, this way you gain a lot of flexibility and you could for instance remove the ground in the scene if that is what is needed.


Again, if I had a generating function for a town ready, I'd be using it rather than asking.

Please, the one thing that I don't need at this point are ideas without workforce behind - I have a well-thought out concept, I specifically want to test it, I need textures with clear specs for that. Anything else will only happen if someone else does it.

Is this one better?


Thanks, I'll give it an in-sim try.
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Re: Graphics artist needed

Postby CaptB » Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:52 pm

Thorsten wrote in Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:26 pm:
Please, the one thing that I don't need at this point are ideas without workforce behind - I have a well-thought out concept, I specifically want to test it, I need textures with clear specs for that. Anything else will only happen if someone else does it.



I'm not trying to give you you any concepts, but I am thinking that maybe in the future it would be more efficient and less time consuming, to render the aerial image in blender based on a 3D scene instead of having a an aerial photo.

Making a plausible aerial like blender 3D scene with some houses, roads, bushes , trees and terrain should not be a major issue and we could have some more flexibility and diversity gained ( like switching the terrain off prior to rendering the texture bitmap)

If for any reason Erik's image will not work for you I will do the labour and see what I can do with what we have and maybe go ahead with the 3D idea later to see if it makes any sense.
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Re: Graphics artist needed

Postby erik » Sun Aug 07, 2016 1:25 pm

Is there a way to activate this?
I've modified all town textures but am not seeing any difference.

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Re: Graphics artist needed

Postby Thorsten » Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:27 pm

Needs to be requested in the material. Look at the example of Cape Town (FACT) in the South Africa materials - basically you use the texture with holes as normal urban texture, declare a background texture and set the flag to switch it on.
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Re: Graphics artist needed

Postby erik » Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:36 pm

Ah ok, I'll take a look at it.

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Re: Graphics artist needed

Postby erik » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:27 pm

I'm not sure yet. I do like the blending of the background color into the texture but the buildings themselves also get very dull.

Here's an example for a European town. Left is the blended version with very few translucent areas and right the original:
Image

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